Saturday, February 19, 2011

Who are all these NPC and why do they think they get to talk?

So apparently Chapter 2 needs to have a bunch of dialog.

The swamp is mostly complete, with 75% of the sub areas completed. Still trying to decide if I want to add goodies, which will need to be completely reworked.

I have recently left the swamp and moved back into the plot areas. While making non-plot areas is fun, it does nothing to bring the story closer to it's end. They also tend to be a bit lighter in conversation and a chance to try new and different things with scripting.  The main two area that are currently being put together are the Monastery and a second base of operations that will be located within the swamp.

The monastery is nice since the area is complete and polished, and most of the NPCs are created. They will be getting all new conversations that go with the second chapter, and that is where I am now. I have about three complete at this time and several others in various states. Some for the minor NPCs will have conversations rather similar to their chapter 1 conversation, with only the major conflict information changed. I have also added several more NPCs to the monastery that were met throughout the first chapter. The new area will have less NPCs and more that fall into a minor role. Currently only 2 will have more in depth conversation that tend to take forever to write.

Once I get these conversations and associated journal entries completed, I will be leaving the plot areas and will start work on the Horgath's side quest. He was originally introduced in the Halloween Community Project, then his fall was part of the SOZ holiday expansion. With the completion of that side quest, the player will be able to end his story and maybe offer him redemption.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Working On Big Update

Getting ready to sit down and do a large update to chapter 1.

I decided to do a few play through of chapter 1 again for two reasons. First is I am starting to test different plot areas that are mostly complete. It is easier to use a character that has completed the game and has the items, bonuses and consumables opposed to trying to levelup and equip a new character.
The second reason for the play through is I have reached a dialog heavy part of design. I need to start working on all the dialog for the monastery as well as the second new base of operations. These will fill the player in with the plot and direction while starting to answer the questions from the conclusion of chapter 1. I found it more helpful to read the conversations of the companions and the NPCs in game opposed to opening the toolset and reading them there.

I was surprised how many little things weren't working quite right that were during playtesting. Fortunately I only found one large issue that has already been uploaded in the patch.hak. So I have a list of things to go and add or modify. While I am going through those items I have also gone and created two new scripts that need to be added throughout the campaign. The party will now receive experience for disarming traps. I have gone through all the base traps and created a CR based on damage, number of targets or radius effect, magical effects and saves. That CR is further modified by the traps DC to detect and disarm. The script will also check for a local variable so custom traps or the dart and arrow traps can be given a set CR since they do not use a trap_base_type. This is also the first scripts that I have written that pulls information out of a 2da.  I am using the experience 2da, by finding the character level and the trap CR I pull out the appropriate experience to be awarded. The second script will give a single character experience for picking a lock. The experience is based on the difference of the lock DC verse the characters open lock skill rank including all bonuses. In regards to experience I have also modified the sneak script. I have discovered it is only giving the character who is player controlled the experience for sneaking past encounters. This throws off the experience levels, as the party would gain the experience for fighting the encounter so they should gain the experience for avoiding it.

With this update I am also looking at adding Lance's For of War.
I am still deciding whether to use the original or the passive system. I like the original, but know that most of the feedback on the bioware forum and vault prefer the passive system. But for now I can set the waypoint for maps not effect by the fog. The only area that will likely take advantage of the map unavailable will be lost in the mountains, as I designed the area in a way that made the area map mostly useless.

So I am off to the toolset to find all the traps and locks.